Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I’m sure many of you wonder what happens in the elementary Sunday School Department each Sunday morning. You walk by the rooms and see children drawing, building, and listening. But what Biblical principles do they learn? And how do they learn them?  Well, how about acceptance and grace plus Dr. Seuss thrown in for good measure.

My most recent teaching experience included teaching about Jesus and the Ten Lepers. You remember the story. Jesus meets ten lepers on the road one day. They recognize Jesus and ask to be cleansed from their disease. Jesus tells them to go to the priest and show that they are healed. In their excitement, they run to the synagogue, more than ready to do what He has asked. Only one leper, a Samaritan, returns to Jesus to offer thanks. He realizes his faith in Jesus as the Son of God had made him well. Now, by all accounts, Jesus should have ignored this man as Jews thought Samaritans were nothing more than outcasts. But Jesus didn't ignore the Samaritan. He treated him as well as He would treat anyone.

So what does this New Testament Bible story have to do with Dr. Seuss? One of his more thought-provoking books is entitled The Sneetches… It is a wonderful story of what happens when one group (the bar-bellied Sneetches) think they are more important than another group (the non star-bellied Sneetches). In Dr. Seuss’ book, non star-bellied Sneetches are treated as outcasts…Misfits…Not acceptable or good enough. Sort of like the Samaritans.

Last month, the elementary Sunday School students watched the movie version of this book. Students then had an opportunity to share a time when they felt left out and how one small act of grace or kindness from a friend or family member made them feel better…Made them feel like they fit in. We compared Dr. Seuss’ story with the Ten Lepers and learned that even though offering grace came naturally to Jesus, it is an on-going learning experience for us.

--Donna Schmeltekopf Clark  (Donna is an educator and frequently teaches at First Baptist. She also plays in the Sanctuary Handbell Choir.)

Click here to see more of what goes on at FBC for children.


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